Petri dish [Illustrative].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Despite all the talk of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in Europe, the British Council and British Embassy lauded the last five years of cooperation of multimillion-pound innovative program to develop scientific collaboration between Israel and the UK called BIRAX, the Britain Israel Research Academic Exchange.
More than 1,000 scientists from Israel and the UK have worked together in the program, advancing cures for diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. Some 120 academic institutions have participated in 15 regenerative medicine research projects, from developing stem cell treatments for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, to therapy for type 1 diabetes, to finding ways to prevent the immune system from attacking stem cells.
Focusing on early-stage collaboration, the program has brought together the scientists, including doctoral and postdoctoral students, resulting in breakthrough research published in 30 leading scientific publications. Projects in the program – such as developing a breath test to detect Parkinson’s disease and rebuilding damaged heart cells using stem cells – helped generate global awareness of the value and impact of BIRAX and the benefits of bilateral research, they said.
“BIRAX is the cornerstone of UK/Israel science cooperation,” British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey said on Wednesday. “Both countries are science superpowers, but we can achieve more by working together.